Smashing Blog

Next Matters Most

The Smashing Boxes' Blog features industry insights and innovations revealed through our work, thoughts and projects.

Defying Race Stereotypes in Tech

The lack of diversity in tech is no secret and it has long been an issue that companies around the world have seemed to sweep under the rug or be afraid to discuss publicly. In 2014 Google did the unthinkable by making their diversity numbers public, and unsurprisingly the company’s nearly 50,000 employees were predominantly male and white or Asian.

Thought Leadership Series - Mental Health with Don Azevedo

Smashing Boxes Chairman Nick Jordan sits down with mental health expert Don Azevedo for a conversation on business, leadership, mental well being, and Dr. Martin Selgman.  

Smashing Boxes Chairman Nick Jordan sits down with mental health expert Don Azevedo for a...

3 Trends in education technology, online learning, and the expediting of the curve.

“We are a Tech Company that sells shoes”

-Tony Hsieh

 

Tony Hsieh famously described Zappos, the online shoe selling company, as a tech company that sells shoes. 

 

This was a monumental statement at the time because it forced us all of us non Silicon Valley people to realize there was a new paradigm in business. Companies that were to thrive did NOT just do their business and then add gadgets and gizmos, like tech, later or as a supplement to their offering. Companies that were to thrive would put technology at the CORE of it’s approach to business. 

 

Using this well known anecdote, how would education stack up? Are colleges tech companies that sell education? At Smashing Boxes, we see trends and themes in the way technology is being adopted, created, and leveraged to disrupt industries and break boundaries. Here are trends we are seeing. 

 

From our first person research and interview with industry leader Momentum Learning and their CEO, Jessica Mitsch, we have learned that: 

  1. Virtual is here to stay in some form or fashion

  2. Human Centered Design is the key to rethinking the student experience. 

  3. College Degrees are potentially no longer required. 

To further define the challenge at hand, in reviewing recent posts from  CB Insights, and The World Bank, several stunning facts emerged: 

  • Over 1.8 BILLION learners were impacted by COVID 19. 

  • Lack of infrastructure and preparedness has made it hard for the, wait for it, $6.8 TRILLION dollar global education industry to adjust. 

  • This could be due to the fact that out of the $1.6T spent in the US on education each year, less than 5% was spent on edtech. 

 

As far as what the future may hold both domestically as well as globally, several themes were consistent. When thinking about tech, the usual suspects appeared, which are: 

  • IOT and smart devices can improve campus experiences.

  • AR/VR can improve engagement.

  • Gamification can provide built in psychological challenges to students.


However, the biggest theme by far was just as much of a business model innovation as a technical innovation. Online education, the need for widely distributed access and a move towards Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOC’s, would be critical for the wide array of learners across the globe. It is interesting that the research states that MOOC’s have seen a renewed interest...key word being renewed. The current education business model would seem to widely discourage what is best for the global population, which is unfortunate.  Going forward, will institutions become content contributors in the future versus walled off silos? Only time will tell. 

 

Seeing this all in action


Additional Resources for Educators or Innovators in the education space that are free: 

  • Service Design e-book- think about human centered design and follow along in our guided workflow to create the education experience of the future for your organization. 

  • IOMT ebook- thinking about how devices might impact and improve your organization? Start your research here. 

 

Let us know your comments on LinkedIn

“We are a Tech Company that sells shoes”

-Tony Hsieh

 

Tony Hsieh famously described Zappos...

The New Leaders of Smashing Boxes

We are excited to announce a new leadership team! Nick Jordan, our founder, will be moving from CEO to Chairman/CEO and eventually just Chairman.  Why might you ask? Well, Nick is an entrepreneur at heart with a passion for solving problems with technology, helping others to do so, and building a community and ecosystem in the process. Want to know more about what’s already in the works? Check out Nick's thoughts by clicking here!

We are excited to announce a new leadership team! Nick Jordan, our founder, will be moving from...

Podcast Episode Five: Using Technology to Create Major Change Within The America Educational System

Rewind a few months ago- Fresh off raising money, getting set up, and launching a new immersive code school, the pandemic hits, and everything gets thrown out the window. Luckily for my good friend and guest on our latest podcast episode Jessica Mitsch, she could get through the freak out moment and get her business pivoted to a highly active and successful remote service for her students. In the episode, we discuss many things, including but not limited to how to shift to remote even when you built your entire business around in-person interaction, the future of education, being an entrepreneur in the triangle, and more.

Rewind a few months ago- Fresh off raising money, getting set up, and launching a new immersive...

Podcast Episode Four: Leveraging Your Attorney Relationships to Maximize Business Potential

Jesse, attorney and head of Fourscore Law, has started a legal startup that helps startups to startup. Fortunately, in this episode we don’t spend much time making cliche jokes or references to HBO’s Silicon Valley (or to the actual Silicon Valley for that matter).  Jesse and I get into a variety of topics, ranging from how businesses should truly engage with their legal team for a 10x return to the book Buy vs Build, which is a book about entrepreneurs taking a different path to business ownership and scaling.

Jesse, attorney and head of Fourscore Law, has started a legal startup that helps startups to...

Podcast Episode One: Becoming an Entrepreneur

Jes Averhart is the CEO of Jes & Co. and creator of the Reinvention Roadmap! As a Mom, Storyteller, Podcaster, and member of a Badass Girl Tribe, she uses her flaws and lessons to fuel each incredible life chapter! Jes is obsessed with the process and power of REINVENTION and wants to inspire others to start their journey.

Jes realized her true passion for leadership development and women's empowerment while leading partner engagement at the American Underground, a Google for Startups Tech Hub (aka, the 'Startup Capital of the South' by CNBC). During her tenure, she had the unique opportunity to manage relationships with Google, Fidelity Labs, Wells Fargo, Coastal Credit Union, Lincoln Financial, and others. Her time spent immersed in the startup scene also inspired her to co-found Black Wall Street Homecoming, a nonprofit aimed at closing the funding gap for Black and Brown tech founders.

Earlier in her career, Jes launched a boutique event production company. She specialized in providing professional event management services for the likes of the Cincinnati Bengals & Cleveland Browns (NFL), Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), The Procter & Gamble Company, Pepsi Cola North America, as well as a growing number of companies based in the Research Triangle Park.

Originally from Evansport, Ohio, Jes learned the ropes quickly by working in the family's real estate, auctioneering, and appraisal business. After college, she accepted a corporate role with General Electric; but it didn't take long before she started her own company, making her a4th generation entrepreneur. Jes moved to North Carolina in 2005 devoting much of her time serving on various nonprofit boards, writing, cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes, and globe-trotting. But without question, her greatest gift is her teenage son Tre who helps keep all things in perspective!

Check out the podcast episode anywhere you listen to podcasts or by clicking here! 

Jes Averhart is the CEO of Jes & Co. and creator of the Reinvention Roadmap! As a Mom,...

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